Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Georgia Man Sentenced to Ten Years for Aggravated Battery

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

On Friday, Jason Townes was sentenced to ten years in prison followed by a ten-year probation. He was convicted of shooting a man outside a barbershop in Cobb County on July 9, 2016. According to the reports, Townes and the man got into an altercation outside of a barbershop. Bystanders broke up the fight, but Townes apparently followed the man and ended up pulling a .45 caliber handgun from his waistband. The victim attempted to escape Townes, but Townes shot him the leg as he began to run away.

Townes was found guilty of aggravated battery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I'd like to focus today's post on the offense of aggravated battery in Georgia. There is a small difference between battery and aggravated battery, but the penalty for conviction is much higher.

Aggravated Battery in Georgia

The Georgia Code defines aggravated battery in Georgia under the following statute:

A person commits aggravated battery when he or she maliciously causes bodily harm to another by depriving him or her of a member of his or her body, by rendering a member of his or her body useless, or by seriously disfiguring his or her body or a member thereof. O.C.G.A. §16-5-24.

Serious disfigurement of the victim is what sets aggravated battery apart from battery in Georgia. Georgia Courts do not hold or require that the victim's disfigurement be permanent, but the injury must be more severe than a superficial wound. 

In order for the accused person to be convicted of aggravated battery, the prosecution, the state of Georgia, must show that he or she is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Therefore, the State must present a demonstration that the accused person intended to make physical contact.

If the battery was based on physical injury, then the prosecution must present not only evidence of the injury, but also the severity of the injury. The jury will almost always decide whether or not the disfigurement is considered severe.

If the battery was committed with a deadly weapon, then the prosecution must provide evidence about the weapon.

In the event of a conviction for aggravated battery, prison time is an absolute certainty as it is considered one of the most serious crimes in Georgia.

An aggravated battery conviction means that a person is guilty of a felony, and the punishment may include a sentence of one to twenty years of imprisonment. The judge will look at the evidence about the circumstances, the extent of the injuries received by the victim, the relationship between the victim and the suspect, and more to decide the amount of prison time.

Practice Note

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I'd like to highlight some of the Georgia Criminal Defenses that can potentially be utilized in an aggravated battery case.

  • Accidental battery without malicious intent
  • Instrument is not a deadly weapon under the statute language
  • Self-Defense in Georgia
  • Defense of Others in Georgia
  • Defense of Property in Georgia

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Georgia, contact us today. We will investigate all the details surrounding your case and evaluate all of your options.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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